Horse drawn carts, chariots, groups of people walking to the shores of a great ocean to greet new arrivals, all under the leadership of a high spirit … sounds like a passage from a fantasy novel. Which we read to escape our often disappointing and chaotic life. We long for a world of light and love and filled with beauty. Of friendships lasting forever and kindness spilling out from each and every one of us. A place where animals are our willing workmates and the delight of form outweighs function. This is real. This is heaven.
Zabdiel, a resident of the tenth level of heaven (levels are concepts specifically for our comprehension), speaks to the Rev. G. Vale Owen about a group of travelers he meets on the road:
“They are some afoot, and some on horses, and some in wagons, or chariots, open vehicles they are, of wood, and with gold about them for a blinding and bordering, and also devices on their front parts which tell of what realm and order the riders are. The garments of the throng are many colors, but the dominating one is mauve deepening into purple. There are some three hundred men of them, and I receive and give salutation and inquire whither they are bound, and on what manner of business.”[i]
In Book Two of the book The Life Beyond the Veil called The Highlands of Heaven, Zabdiel communicates to Rev. G. Vale Owen about a group of souls who making the transition from the ninth level to the tenth level of heaven. In his description many truths about life in the spirit plane are exposed.
Spiritism has brought communications from many spirits, all revealing different aspects of heaven. While many religions and messages from individual spirits attempt to describe heaven to humans on earth, Spiritism supplies us with details from many spirit sources. All with common themes and all exposing slightly different aspects of life in the spirit realm.
What Zabdiel describes in his messages to G. Vale Owen on December 15, 1913 and several days afterwards, provides a sense of the community, the life style, and the leadership present in the tenth level.
Starting with the description of a caravan of people who Zabdiel encounters on the road, we see spirits walking, riding; using primitive modes of transportation in a land where the germination of an idea is action … where a spirit may move by the speed of thought. There is no need for a group of spirits moving slowly along a road, using draft animals as a means of locomotion.
Except, if this is what they wanted to do. They wished the feeling of being together, of being with nature, of having animals close to them. Walking leisurely along a pathway, enjoying the scenery on the way to a destination that promised a celebration.
Zabdiel, asks the group where they are going. Harolen, the leader, informs him they are traveling to meet spirits who are now allowed to ascend to the tenth level. Previously they resided in the ninth level, but now they have garnered enough spiritual capital to warrant promotion.
Harolen, a spirit from the eleventh level, decided to amass people from the original group who had advanced earlier to make the newcomers feel welcomed. Zabdiel describes the journey:
“We did so and crossed the river with them, swimming it, men and horses and wagons, too, and came to the other side. We left my city on the right, and went on to the pass which goes between the mountains where the scenery is very large and massive. Rocks rear themselves with much stateliness on either hand, like spires and towers and domes, and they are of different colors. Here and there vegetation grows and now a plateau is seen stretching away between the shoulders of two hills, and on it rises the chief city of a colony of happy people, who come and look down on us from aloft, and wave their salutation, and throw flowers to us as love tokens.”[ii]
The journey, the effort, the fording of rivers, the path winding through a valley of colorful boulders was as important as the destination. The group shared a bond together and with the villages they passed. All experiences reinforced the positive attitude, the comradery, and the environment of mutual support apparent in heaven. As spirits rise, their makeup is freer of blemishes, they lack the negative attitudes and embrace fraternity in its totality. Where no one is a stranger and everyone is worthy of assistance.
Zabdiel tells of passing mansions and houses made of stone and wood. Eventually they come to a pass:
“We emerge through this Gate, which the Valley people call the ‘Gate of the Sea,’ and before us we see open ocean, into which the river falls from a great height, and is very lovely to see as it falls, like many thousands of kingfishers and hummingbirds making their many-colored flight down the mountainside, flashing and sparkling, into the waters below. We descend by pathways and stand on the shore; but some still remain behind to watch for those who shall come over the sea. We are well timed, for our leader has powers which are of the sphere beyond, and is able to use the forces of this zone with by so much greater ease. He has so arranged that, but a few moments after we have taken up our station on the shore, a shout is raised by our watchers above that the company is in sight far out at sea. Then round the bend of shore beyond the river come a company of our ladies, who, as I learned when I asked, had their habitation in that district in order that they might join those who came to that shore from distant lands.”[iii]
The journey was well-managed; the group arrived at the perfect hour at the right place. Another assembly, composed of women, arrived simultaneously. All to greet the souls coming to their new home. Who knows how many men and women of the tenth level awaited their loved ones, past wives and husbands, lovers, children, and parents that could be on the sea moving closer to the shore minute by minute.
The spirit world encourages all souls to accumulate the knowledge and spirituality to raise themselves level after level. Each soul travels at his or her own speed and capability. Hence, close relationships are often severed for a time, by one or more going to a different level to begin a new course of study. The raised spirits will journey back occasionally to assist others to make the grade and they patiently wait for their brothers and sisters to climb up to them. Love transcends the gulf between the heavenly spheres like the love of Jesus which covers all of us, worthy or not. For He knows, that one day, we shall all climb the steep path to perfection.
Zabdiel looked toward the women waiting and saw their leader:
“Then high upon a rounded summit, below which their home was, we saw their Mother standing. She was robed from head to foot in silver gossamer, and shone through her robe like a beautiful glittering diamond or pearl endowed with life and fresh vitality. She looked intently at the party on the sea, and then began to make a weaving movement with her hands.
Presently we saw a large bouquet of flowers was taking shape between her hands. And then she changed her movements, and it began to float out and stretch itself into a rope of flowers which went out into the air, high up across the waters, and at length it rested over the people who were on the sea.
Then it drew itself inward, and began to form a flat spiral, and circled above their heads awhile, and then gently settled down upon them, and broke up into a shower of roses and lilies and other kinds of flowers, which fell upon then and about them. As I looked I saw their faces change from inquiring expectation into glad smiles of happiness, for they understood the token they had received, and knew that love and beauty awaited them in this new sphere to which they journeyed far to come.”[iv]
The people on the sea, came closer, they were on a large raft, complete with comfortable couches and beds to sit and lay upon, with organs to play music. And in the middle of it all was an altar.
Zabdiel could hear the singing and the words floating out from the water to the shore. He didn’t recognize the hymn they sang nor the altar on the raft. Zabdiel looked for writing on the altar to determine any clues about its source, but he couldn’t discern whence it came.
Curious, Zabdiel sought out Harolen, and inquired about the origin of these people. Harolen told him, “They in the earth life had been worshippers of the God Whose Name was wrapt in the Fire and in the Sun, and Whom the old Persians reverenced.”[v] From this description, I surmise these people were Zoroastrians; an ancient religion, dating back from six hundred years before Christ.
“In Zoroastrianism, the purpose in life is to ‘be among those who renew the world…to make the world progress towards perfection’. Its basic maxims include:
Humata, Hukhta, Huvarshta, which mean: Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds.
There is only one path and that is the path of Truth.
Do the right thing because it is the right thing to do, and then all beneficial rewards will come to you also.”[vi]
The prophet Zoroaster (also known as Zarathustra), was one more messenger sent by the spirit world, under the leadership of Jesus to spread the basic truths of our existence on earth. From six hundred years before Christ, to the revelations of the New Testament, to what Allan Kardec codified in The Spirits Book in the 1850s … the message remains constant; our goal is to improve in this life on earth.
Heaven isn’t the domain of one religion. Heaven is for those that struggle within themselves to cast off that which ties them to earth, to cut the binds and shackles, to be free from hate and envy, to embrace all of humanity as loved ones. There is no spiritual law stating that one must be baptized, confess, recite the right words, eat the correct foods, or any other artificial form of obedience to an organized religion. There is only oneself.
This is why the spirit world accepts all who are pure of heart, even those who desire to be pure of heart. We are not expected to be saints waiting at the entrance gate, we need only to be armed with the right attitude. With the longing to become one with the light. This is all.
This is why Spiritism was introduced to us; to notify each individual to place organized religions in their rightful place. If showing up at a ceremony pleases you, then go ahead be part of the congregation, but be aware that your internal state is what is important, not your appearance or outward behavior.
The vital point is that whatever form we wish to illustrate and promote our spirituality is accepted by the spirit realm. Zabdiel tells us that as we grow, the past ceremonies and particular beliefs melt away like a glacier meeting the ocean, becoming one:
“You must know that, when people first come out of the earth life into the first stage of their eternal life on this side, they are as they left earth. This much you know. They who have any serious religion at all continue their worship and manner of life and conduct according to that religion as to its main and leading principles. But as they progress there is a winnowing, and the chaff is blown away, one fistful after another, as they go on from sphere to sphere. Yet, while some shoot ahead, the bulk linger and go more leisurely onward; and those who have left them behind come back to them, from time to time, to instruct them.
So they go on from age to age, and realm to realm, and sphere to sphere; and all the while they approach nearer to the Universal idea of the All-Father. Brethren they still are together; but they learn to welcome, and then to love, brethren of other modes of religious though and belief; as these others do also. And so there is a constant and increasing intercourse between those of varying creed.”[vii]
When the newcomers departed the expansive and comfortable raft, they were met by friends and family. Harolen and the wise woman who greeted them with flowers embraced and kissed each new arrival. Upon these embraces each fresh member of the tenth level of heaven took on a new appearance, an increased luminosity, more in concert with spirits residing on the tenth level.
Harolen led the group off the beach and onto the road to where they would reside until they became accustomed to their new environment. Halting at their destination, Harolen climbed aboard a wagon and asked for silence. He knelt down on the wagon:
“As he knelt thus we presently heard music and voices chanting some very beautiful theme, but in words we none of us could interpret. Still kneeling we looked up and saw that Harolen had descended from his wagon, and stood upon the road in front of us his company. Walking down the road towards him was a Man, clad in white from head to foot. One circle of light crossed His forehead and girded His hair behind. No jewel did He wear, but over His breasts before, and were held in place with a belt. They and it were of silver and red mingled. His face was calm, and with no majesty save that of love and kindness; and He walked with slow and thoughtful step, as if He bore in His heart the weal and woe of some great universe. It was no sadness we saw, but something near akin, and yet I cannot name it, so unfathomable was that quiet all-embracing calm which was about Him.
He came to where Harolen still knelt, and said some word to him in a tongue we did not know and also His voice was so subdued that we felt He spoke rather than heard Him. The Prince looked up then into His face and smiled; and his smile was lovely, as everything about him was lovely. Then the Other bent down and folded him into His arms, and raised him up, and stood by his side and held his hand in one of His own. Standing thus He raised His right hand and, looking on us, He blessed us and spoke words of cheer and encouragement to proceed in our work which lay ahead of us.
He was not eloquent, but rather were His words those of a mother to her children setting forth on a journey. No more than this, and spoken so quietly and so simply, and yet in such wise that they gave us confidence and joy together, and all fear was taken away.”[viii]
Such was the initiation from one sphere to the next, a journey, a ceremony, and an orientation. All organized to prepare a new group of spirits for life on a higher plane. A new sphere, where the courses may be different, but the goal of learning is the same. To once more graduate to the next level of heaven.
To see how we are guided on earth by the spirit realm read my book about my personal experiences, 7 Tenets of Spiritism – How They Impact Your Daily Life. You will be surprised at the involvement into the smallest details in our lives by our spirit guardians.
Kardec, A. (2010). The Spirits Book. Guildford, UK: White Crow Books.
Owen, R. G. (2012). The Life Beyond the Veil. Pahrump, NV: Square Circles Publishing.
Wikipedia. (2016, June 26). Zoroastrianism. Retrieved from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoroastrianism
[i] Owen, G. Vale, The Life Beyond the Veil, Square Circles Publishing, p. 244
[ii] Owen, G. Vale, The Life Beyond the Veil, Square Circles Publishing, p. 245
[iii] Owen, G. Vale, The Life Beyond the Veil, Square Circles Publishing, pp. 245-246
[iv] Owen, G. Vale, The Life Beyond the Veil, Square Circles Publishing, pp. 246-247
[v] Owen, G. Vale, The Life Beyond the Veil, Square Circles Publishing, p. 250
[vii] Owen, G. Vale, The Life Beyond the Veil, Square Circles Publishing, pp. 250-251
[viii] Owen, G. Vale, The Life Beyond the Veil, Square Circles Publishing, pp. 255-256